When most people picture a car crash, the image includes at least two vehicles; it is rare to envision a car crash that involves a single car. However, single-vehicle car accidents do happen and, when they do, they can be devastating for those involved. If you have been involved in a single-vehicle crash, you probably have a lot of questions, including the most important: who will pay for your damages? At the law offices of McCormick & Murphy, P.C., our Colorado Springs single-vehicle accident lawyers can represent you in your claim for damages. Call our lawyers today to learn more about your rights and options.
What Is a Single-vehicle Collision?
A single-vehicle collision is exactly that: a car crash that only results in one vehicle making contact with another object, or perhaps rolling over. (Note: this does not mean that a second vehicle can’t contribute to the crash. For example, by swerving in front of another car, forcing the other driver to slam on their brakes.) A single-vehicle collision could involve a vehicle running into a stationary object, running off of the road, or rolling over – the latter is typically one of the deadliest accident types.
Rollover Accidents Can Be Deadly
Rollovers are one of the deadliest types of single-vehicle collisions. These complex crash types are particularly violent in nature. According to safercar.gov, rollover accidents have a higher fatality rate than other kinds of crashes – while only 2.1 percent of crashes involve a rollover, rollover accidents account for nearly 35 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths.
Rollover accidents have a greater likelihood of resulting in fatal injuries in the event that vehicle occupants are not buckled at the time of impact. Of those who died in rollover crashes in a year for which data is available, 69 percent of them were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of impact.
If rollover crashes are not deadly, they can leave those involved with tragic, long-term, and disabling injuries. These potential injury types include, but are not limited to, spinal cord and paralysis injuries, internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, loss of use of limb injuries, disfigurement, and more.
Top Causes of Single-vehicle Accidents
Single-vehicle crashes don’t just happen; they are the result of the negligence of someone, such as the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident, a party responsible for road maintenance, another driver on the road, or even the manufacturer of the vehicle involved (or the manufacturer of a vehicle part). Examples of causes of single-vehicle accidents include:
Driving too fast for conditions. When a vehicle is traveling too fast for conditions, it is more difficult to control, therefore increasing the risk of a crash. This includes taking a turn faster than the posted speed limit. In fact, according to the same source listed above, fatal rollover crashes are speed-related more often than fatal non-rollover crashes. Over ⅓ of fatal rollover crashes involved excessive speeding.
Using alcohol. Drinking and then driving is unlawful and unsafe, and being drunk behind the wheel increases the risk of single-vehicle (and multi-vehicle) collisions. About 50 percent of all rollover crashes involve alcohol.
Vehicle defect. While less common than driver negligence, a vehicle defect often lead to a single-vehicle collision. For example, if the brakes go out on a vehicle, the driver may be forced to crash their vehicle in order to get it to stop. Or, if a tire blowout occurs, this could force the vehicle to swerve, hit an object, and, in the worst of cases, rollover.
Unsafe road conditions. Like a vehicle defect, unsafe road conditions are less likely to cause a single-vehicle crash, but it does happen. An unsafe road condition could refer to a pothole or another type of road defect, debris in the road, an animal running across the road, and defective signage or lack of signage (i.e. a sharp turn that isn’t indicated by a warning sign), or improperly placed barriers and signs in construction zones.
Other drivers’ negligence. Finally, the negligence of other drivers can also increase the risk of a single-car crash. Swerving, erratically changing lanes, pulling out in front of another driver unexpectedly, failing to yield, and more could all increase the risk of a safer driver performing an action–perhaps one that’s entirely reflexive–that results in a single-vehicle collision in his or her attempt to avoid colliding with the negligent driver.
Who’s Liable for Your Damages?
If you’ve been in a single-vehicle crash, you may be facing some anxiety and uncertainty about who to hold liable for your damages. Indeed, in a traditional crash, the at-fault driver will be responsible for paying for damages suffered by the not-at-fault party and if they don’t have insurance then your own insurance company. But if you’re in a crash with only yourself, against whom can you file a claim?
When you hire our experienced law firm, we can open an investigation on your behalf to determine whether or not the actions of another party caused or contributed to your accident. If they did, then you can file a claim to hold this party liable for damages. You will need to prove that the other party breached the duty of care owed to you and that this breach was the proximate cause of damages. If another negligent driver can be identified, then a claim against him/her and his/her insurance company can be brought.
If he cannot be identified then a claim can be brought against your own insurance company. If signs or barriers were negligently placed or not places at all, the barrier company or city or state may be liable.
How We Can Help
When you call our Colorado Springs single-vehicle crash lawyers, we will handle your case on your behalf. This includes investigating your accident and gathering all necessary evidence to prove negligence. We will also calculate your damages, review all relevant insurance policies, file a demand letter, and negotiate your settlement.
Call Our Colorado Springs Single-vehicle Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been involved in a single-vehicle crash in Colorado Springs, our Colorado Springs single-vehicle accident attorneys want to help. We know that you may be scared and uncertain about the future – when you call our office, we can offer you a free consultation where we can discuss the details of your case and your damages. Reach us today online or by phone to get started.